Top 10 Eagles Highlights from 4-11-1 Season

In such a disappointing season, one might think it difficult to find many highlights, but here some worthy candidates
Author:
Publish date:

Highlights in the 4-11-1 season the Eagles just concluded weren’t as difficult to find as one might think. Here are 10 of them:

10. Jalen Hurts’ fourth-down magic. The rookie threw six touchdown passes this season, with five coming in his four starts and the other coming when he took over for Carson Wentz in Green Bay. Three of those touchdown passes were to Greg Ward, the other to Alshon Jeffery.

9. Brandon Graham: Pro Bowler. The defensive end looked on pace to collect the first double-digit sack season of his career, sitting at seven with about a half-a-season left. He got only one more and ended with eight for the second straight year, earning his first bid to the Pro Bowl in his 11th season. Graham impacted every game in many other ways than just sacks.

8. Rodney McLeod touchdown. The first touchdown in the safety’s nine-year career was electric and it came against Eagles’ fans most despised division rival, the Dallas Cowboys. He scooped up a fumble caused by blitzing linebacker T.J. Edwards and rumbled 53 yards for a touchdown.

The play turned a nail-biter, with the Eagles protecting a 15-9 lead late in the fourth quarter, into a win as it ran the score to 21-9 with 5:18 to play in an eventual 23-9 victory.

7. Jason Kelce finished the season. As those around him on the offensive line became injury casualties, the center stayed healthy and still hasn’t missed a start since 2014, making 104 straight starts. He also picked up his fourth Pro Bowl bid.

6. Travis Fulgham vs. Steelers. The WR came from out of nowhere with 10 catches for 152 yards and 4-yard touchdown that brought the Eagles to within 31-29 of Pittsburgh early in the fourth quarter. Fulgham ended the season as the team’s top receiver in terms of yards with 539 while making 38 catches and showing a skill set that will likely keep him with the Eagles at least through next season.

5. Duel in the desert. This game may have been the most entertaining to watch of the Eagles’ entire season, with young quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Kyler Murray trading punches. Murray got the better of hurts, both statistically and on the scoreboard with a 33-26 win in Week 15, but Hurts went toe-to-toe with him, completing 24-of-44 passes for 338 yards three touchdowns and a passer rating of 102.3.

4. Carson Wentz to Boston Scott. The 18-yard throw from the QB to the RB went for a touchdown and came with just 40 seconds to play in what was a 22-21 win over the New York Giants. 

It may have been Wentz’s best throw of the season, with the runner-up being the 42-yard TD strike he hit Travis Fulgham with midway through the final quarter in a win over the 49ers. The one to Scott was put in a place that only Scott could catch it streaking down the sideline, and it was a terrific catch by Scott as well.

3. Miles Sanders’ home runs. The second-year running back had three runs for more than 70-yards this season, becoming the first player with that many 70-plus runs in a season since 2012 when Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson, and Adrian Peterson did it.

He had 74-yard run against the Steelers that tied the score at 7-7 then a week later ripped off another 74-yard run, this one against the Ravens, but fumbled right before crossing the goal line and the ball was picked up by J.J. Arcega-Whiteside for a touchdown.

Sanders also had an 82-yard TD run against the Saints that made the score 17-0 and was the fourth longest touchdown run in team history and longest since Brian Mitchell had an 85-yard score in 2000 vs. the Falcons.

2. Alex Singleton’s break out. The linebacker was a revelation, finishing as the Eagles’ leading tackler with 120 despite not being inserted into the starting lineup until Week 6. He finished his break-out season with five straight double-digit tackle games and put himself in position to be the starting middle linebacker in 2021, if the Eagles choose to bring him back. He is an exclusive rights free agent.

1. Beating the Saints. Nobody thought it possible. Jalen Hurts was making his first career start and doing it against the NFL’s top-ranked defense and a team that had the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed at the time.

But Hurts became just the second quarterback to run for more than 100 yards (106) and throw for more than 100 yards (167) in his first NFL start and the only QB to make his first start and have a touchdown pass on top of the other numbers. 

The game also featured Miles Sanders’ second 100-yard game of the season, as he ended with 115 and was the first time that a pair of Eagles gained 100 rushing yards in the same game since Week 16 of the 2013 season when LeSean McCoy (133 yards) and Bryce Brown (115) did it against the Bears.

Sanders and Hurts were the first Eagles QB/RB duo to each gain 100 rushing yards in the same game since Donovan McNabb (107) and Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach Duce Staley (126) in 2002 against the Giants.

Check out anything Eagles-related you may have missed by going to www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow me on Twitter @kracze.